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Nico Osteria’s New Happy Hour Spotlights $7 Spritzes

That and other morsels in dining news.

Photo: Greyson Reith

A new food hall is open in the Loop. Hayden Hall (333 S. Wabash Ave., Loop) from DMK Restaurants has a huge range of options not found in other area food halls, including a full-service second location of Ada Street. There’s an outpost of the dearly departed vegan spot Mana Food Bar, a butcher shop/sausage vendor, a wine bar, a taqueria, and much more, all packed into a second-floor space on Wabash.

Nico Osteria (1015 N. Rush St., Gold Coast) has a new aperitivo-themed happy hour — a great way to grab a drink with a friend after work without having to go all out on the booze. They’re offering a variety of food (including oysters with prosecco mignonette, fancy grilled cheese, and arancini), along with Aperol spritzes and house wine, all for $7 each. The special runs on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.

I covered the tenth anniversary of Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave., Logan Square) last week, but I hadn’t seen their insanely amazing Instagram video celebrating the event. They went all out, with a Blues Brothers–themed short about getting all of the former bartenders back together. Industry people in particular will find all the little inside nods hilarious.

It’s lovely to read a best-of list that contains a lot of places that you haven’t heard of before, instead of a rehash of the same old, same old. That’s why Chris Borrelli’s Tribune piece about the best pizzas you haven’t had before is so great. I have, in fact, had none of them! If you’re looking for a winter food project, this is a good one to save.

Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave., South Loop) is doing a really fun paella collaboration special. Every couple months in 2020, a guest chef from an area restaurant will contribute a new paella to the menu, with the proceeds going to a charity of the chef’s choice. The first couple of months, Michael Lanzerotte of Saint Lou’s Assembly will take over; after that, Farmhouse Evanston, Café Cancale, and S.K.Y. join the team.

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